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Kin-Ball: Sweetheart turned rejection

We can’t blame Kin-Ball Québec President François Begin for his lack of ambition. Faced with the “terrible decline” of a sport that was invented and popularized in Quebec 30 years ago, the federation is launching an action plan to return the closest ball to its former glory.

“Our true national sport isn’t hockey. It’s kinball!” Mr. Begin says on the line. He says it with a laugh, but you can tell he really means it.

He is a huge fan of Kin Ball, and explains that the sport was an integral part of his adolescence.

“I was a little chubby [chubby] In secondary. When I was playing basketball, no one would pass me. Then I started playing kin-ball and developed my skills. People started messing with me. High fives When I made good moves and became the captain of my team. It helped me a lot.”

This sport was very successful in the 90’s and 2000’s. In 2006, kin-ball was the most played extracurricular sport in Quebec and at that time, more than 30,000 people took part in the sport regularly. While today, there are barely 1,000 members in the four corners of the county.

“I was told that kin-ball was less popular than pétanque in Quebec. Don’t tell me that twice!” he adds eagerly.

recovery plan

So Mr. Begin and the Federation are working on a master recovery plan, which will extend over three years.

The ultimate goal: to reach 31,000 members in Quebec within three years.

Stop the decline and surpass player numbers in 2006 in just three years?

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Quite a feasible project, according to Mr. Begin. To do this, they called on researchers from HEC Montréal Sports in Pôle, who presented them with a list of the six main projects that would be undertaken if they were to achieve their goal.

Among the strategies, Kin-Ball Quebec wants to train coaches throughout Quebec, provide equipment with the help of financial partners, and above all, spread the message that sports are available to everyone, literally.

“Little girls at a school in Quebec were rejected from the volleyball team because their arms were too short. That doesn’t happen in kin-ball. No matter what your face is, you can run it, even if you’re in a wheelchair.”

Invented in Quebec

Invented by physical education teacher Mario Demers in 1993, kin-ball is played in teams of four, with three teams on the field at the same time during a game.

For the marquer, une équipe doit nommer la couleur d’un adversaire et projeter le gros ballon de 1,22 mètre de diamètre en l’air en esperant que l’équipe nommée ne soit pas en mesure de recupérer le ballon avant qu’il touche the earth.

Popular in Quebec, kin-ball now has associations in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain and Japan.

At the Olympics someday?

In 2018, Mr. Demers revealed to Actualités UQAM his plan that his sport would one day become an Olympic discipline.

There must be about fifty federations all over the world, and we are about a third of them. Looking at the rapid development in recent years, I am convinced that it is only a matter of time. Although most Olympic sports were invented over 100 years ago, I feel very proud of where we have come in 30 years. »

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A sport in decline

KIN-BALL Recordings in Quebec since 1993

  • 1993 | 3316
  • 1996 | 9336
  • 1999 | 23505
  • 2003 | 29267
  • 2006 | 30706
  • 2009 | 20,002
  • 2012 | 9933
  • 2015 | 3108
  • 2018 | 1566
  • 2021 | 1178

Source: HEC Montreal Sports Center